Rogers Sportsnet 2: Judgment play

The CRTC has approved a specialty TV service for Rogers called Rogers Sportsnet 2 (really? Couldn’t come up with anything better than that?), which is focused exclusively (90%) on soccer, cricket and rugby (also known as “the lesser team sports that only old British people watch). In fact, the license specifically prohibits the channel from carrying anything related to men’s ice hockey, basketball, U.S. and Canadian football and baseball (in other words, NHL, NBA, NFL, CFL, MLB, their minor leagues, junior leagues, amateur leagues, pee-wee leagues, street leagues or any other versions of these sports where the players have penises). This is to prevent competition with existing networks like TSN and RDS.

The application got two interventions, one from CTVglobemedia (which owns TSN), asking for a tougher restriction (Rogers initially offered a prohibition only on the major leagues, but agreed to the change), and the other from the Asian Television Network, which has its own cricket channel called Cricket Plus.

The latter got a funny-sounding response from Rogers, who said that because their channel focuses also on soccer and rugby, “the proposed service would not serve the interests of the cricket enthusiast as effectively as Cricket Plus.” Which is kind of like saying that because RDS carries baseball and football, it won’t serve the interests of hockey enthusiasts as well as the NHL Network. The idea of national exclusivity contracts (which is why NHL Network doesn’t carry any Canadian games) wasn’t brought up.

But that’s neither here nor there, since Cricket Plus doesn’t enjoy any guarantee from competition. What is interesting however, is that Cricket Plus is carried by Rogers cable, and so if the channels do end up competing with each other, it might be in Rogers’s interest to either remove Cricket Plus from its cable lineup or otherwise make it fail.

But perhaps I’m just being paranoid.

6 thoughts on “Rogers Sportsnet 2: Judgment play

  1. princess iveylocks

    Um, young people from different cultures watch cricket/rugger/soccer… have you ever seen World Cup frenzy downtown?

  2. Justin Lubbock


    I’m going to avoid simply calling you a moron and I’m going to give you a little education. This will hopefully result in you avoiding future embarrassment from writing about stuff you quite clearly know nothing about.

    Like sport for instance.

    Let’s start with arguably the funniest comment you made – “soccer, cricket and rugby (also known as “the lesser team sports that only old British people watch)”. The lesser team sports? Do you have any idea how many people watch these sports around the globe? Surely I don’t need to tell you that soccer (football) is the most played and watched sport on the planet. The 2006 World Cup Finals were watched by 603 million viewers while SuperBowl, The World Series and the NBA Finals (the Stanley Cup didn’t even make the top 10) were watched by a combined audience of 274 million. Combined audience! Even the UEFA Champions League final drew over twice as many viewers as the MLB and NBA games combined.

    Then there’s your ever so mature “or any other versions of these sports where the players have penises” comment. This means you’re putting up a bunch of players who are padded to the gills and spend most of their time standing around waiting for time-outs and TV commercials to end against real sportsmen who don very little in the way of protection (Cricket is an exception) and play non-stop for considerable lengths of time.

    So when Sportsnet 2 goes on air I suggest you give it a try. Unless you’re afraid that it will fully illustrate what a plonker you are when it comes to spouting off about something you are quite clearly lacking in knowledge of.


    Justin Lubbock.

  3. Fagstein Post author

    Actually the “penises” comment is because the CRTC restricts the channel against coverage of men’s sports but not women’s sports. So women’s hockey, football and basketball are considered fair game (though limited to 10% of their total coverage).

  4. Pingback: Fagstein » CRTC roundup: CTV wants everything in HD

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